Every year at the Super Bowl, the big names are at the forefront of the matchup. The 2023 edition of the game is no different.
As the Chiefs and Eagles do battle in Super Bowl 57, many are focused on whether Patrick Mahomes will win his second Super Bowl ring or whether Jalen Hurts will win his first. The coaches, Andy Reid and Nick Sirianni, are also under the microscope while the stars of each team are also poised to take a lot of credit if their side wins.
That said, there are always unheralded players on every roster that NFL fans will recognize. Even those all the way at the bottom of depth charts take home rings, and while they may not have major roles on the field, they still play a part in the team’s success.
Often, these lower-tier players are former high draft picks or college stars who just haven’t yet carved out roles for themselves. The Eagles have quite a few of those on their ever-deep roster, should Philadelphia fans want to gloat about the possibility of these guys earning wins.
Who are among the seemingly random Eagles that could earn a title? Here’s a look at the list, which includes a former third-round pick, a couple of top college quarterbacks and a long-time NFL punter.
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Random Eagles seeking first Super Bowl ring
Sermon was supposed to be the next great Kyle Shanahan-coached running back to find NFL success when John Lynch and Co. selected the Ohio State product in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Instead, he lasted only one season with the 49ers.
San Francisco barely used Sermon as a rookie, opting instead to roll with sixth-round pick Elijah Mitchell as its top back when healthy. Sermon ended up running for just 167 yards and a touchdown on 41 carries while playing just nine games.
Sermon quickly fell out of favor with the 49ers and they opted not to keep him after the 2022 preseason. He was waived and subsequently landed with the Eagles as depth at the running back position.
The Eagles have used Sermon even less than the 49ers did, as he has just two carries for 19 yards on the season. Still, he can earn a Super Bowl ring with an Eagles win and get bragging rights over the 49ers after doing so.
As sweet as the Eagles’ win over the 49ers had to be for Sermon, earning a Super Bowl title would help to make up for the sting of losing the 2021 national championship to Alabama while he was at Ohio State.
Of course, he played just one snap in that game. He may play even fewer in the Super Bowl.
Let’s be honest: you probably didn’t even know that Ian Book was on the Eagles. After all, the Saints selected the former Notre Dame quarterback in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, so how could he already be onto his second organization in such a short time?
Well, Book had one less-than-inspiring start with the Saints in 2021. He completed 12 of 20 passes against the Dolphins but logged just 135 passing yards and two interceptions while taking an absurd eight sacks. That was enough for the team to waive him before the 2022 season while keeping Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston and Jake Luton as the true quarterbacks on the team’s roster.
Book didn’t remain available long after roster cuts, however. The Eagles claimed him and made him their third-string quarterback for the 2022 season. He didn’t play a snap for Philadelphia but he was the backup to Gardner Minshew in the two games that Jalen Hurts missed earlier in the season.
Book can become the first Notre Dame quarterback to win a Super Bowl ring since Steve Beuerlein did so as Troy Aikman’s backup in 1993. He won’t likely play and may not even be active for the contest, but surely, the Fighting Irish faithful will be glad to gloat about one of their passers making it to the NFL’s biggest stage once again.
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Here’s another college quarterback on the Eagles’ roster. Tyree Jackson played his college ball at Buffalo and threw for 3,131 yards, 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his final year with the Bulls. He had a cannon of an arm and 6-7 size that gave him tantalizing potential for the next level.
However, Jackson’s inaccuracy led him to pursue a different position at the NFL level. He converted to tight end and has found his way onto the Philadelphia roster in 2021. He was supposed to serve as depth at the position in 2022, but he played just 34 offensive snaps before landing on injured reserve.
Still, Jackson can earn a Super Bowl ring with a victory, and that would technically make him the first member of the 2019 NFL Draft quarterback class to win an NFL championship. He would join sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew in achieving that feat.
Meanwhile, the quarterback the Eagles drafted in 2019, Clayton Thorson, remains a free agent. He last played for the USFL’s Houston Gamblers during the 2022 season.
Brett Kern has been in the NFL for a long time. Only 10 active NFL players have played more games than he has, and yet he made it to his first Super Bowl in 2023.
Kern was a long-time member of the Titans from 2009 to the 2022 preseason and established himself as an AP All-Pro punter in 2019. He helped make Tennessee’s punting game rock-solid for years, but the Titans were never able to get him to the big game.
Now, Kern has reached that pinnacle as a replacement punter for the Eagles. He replaced Arryn Siposs after the Australian was injured in Week 14 and while he averaged just 40.8 yards per punt during the regular season, he has upped that to 44.1 yards per punt in the postseason.
Siposs is designated to return from IR, so if he does before the Super Bowl, Kern may not actually play in the game. Still, he can earn a win for his fine serviceable performance down the stretch. That will give him another nice achievement to add to his list of NFL accomplishments, which includes three Pro Bowl nods and one AP All-Pro honor.
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Grant Calcaterra was trending toward being a star at Oklahoma in 2019 and recorded 26 receptions, 396 yards and six touchdowns for the Sooners. It was presumed he would be in the running to be one of the top tight ends in the 2020 NFL Draft if he continued to perform well.
However, Calcaterra opted to retire before the 2020 season after dealing with the effects of multiple concussions. As such, it seemed like his career was over.
But then, Calcaterra returned to the field with SMU in 2021. He caught a career-high 38 passes for 455 yards and four touchdowns while showing he could still be a capable, NFL-level tight end. The Eagles liked him enough to take him in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft and he made the roster as a rookie.
Calcaterra hasn’t played a lot, but he saw more action when Dallas Goedert was out of the lineup. He caught five passes for 81 yards on the year. He has potential as a long-term complement to Goedert and could even log a catch in the Super Bowl.
If the Eagles win, it will be a cool moment from Calcaterra. He will have gone from having his career end prematurely to winning a Super Bowl in his first NFL season. Not too bad.